Today I had the privilege of attending my Bible Study Fellowship class in person and receiving the lecture after the discussion group live. (It is a wonderful and rare thing for me to feel well and able in the morning.) Despite feeling fidgety and not wanting to sit inside on a rare sunny day (in my old nature), I asked God to speak to my heart, help me listen, and He did. He spoke on many levels in so many good ways, all of which I won’t have time to share here. It is amazing to me how wonderfully God will speak to my heart through Bible teachers in Bible Study Fellowship and in church. But, I wanted to share about one thing I heard today: on the topic of tears in eternity.
The Bible teacher was attempting to explain how wonderful eternal life on the new earth/new heavens is going to be. She did a good, encouraging job, and I say, “attempting” because of course we cannot begin to guess or understand how great our eternal reward is going to be at present. It will be way better than anything we can ask, think or imagine. The teacher talked about how all the bad stuff of this life will be removed from us. No more sin, no more sorrow, no more sadness, regret, suffering, etc. No more TEARS she said. So, I think, one would have to have Sjogren’s Syndrome and the complete loss of tears and acute dry eye problems to understand why hearing “no tears in eternity” raises my hackles. Sjogren’s Syndrome is an autoimmune disease that attacks the glands of the body, the eye glands, salivary glands, etc. It also can damage nerves and any other tissues in the body. Its symptoms tend to differ from person to person. But dry eyes and loss of tears is a most common part of it. For me, with this problem since my twenties, at sixty-one, I really long for the day I will receive my resurrection body in eternity. I will receive a perfectly healthy, perfectly whole body which will include the restoration of tears and the ability to cry. You can’t understand how awful it is to be in sorrow and cry super hard, but no tears will come unless it’s happened to you. There is no let down or relief like crying tears is supposed to give. Instead, for me, it causes my nose to run and clog up overtime often leading to sinus problems. So please well-meaning Bible teachers, don’t tell me that my tears will be gone in eternity. Now I know what the Bible teachers are meaning to say is that there will be no more bad stuff and sorrow in eternity which is true. The Bible clearly teaches that God will WIPE AWAY THE TEARS FROM OUR EYES. But it does not say that tears will be done away with (we tend to think of it that way–unless you have Sjogren’s). Maybe our new resurrection bodies (promised for believers in Christ only) will have some other way to have healthy, moist eyes without tears–but I doubt it. However God chooses to fix the problem of Sjogren’s Syndrome in eternity, I know it will be very good. It will be part of the suffering that God will remove forever. How I long to have tears again and have God wipe them away as He wipes away all my sorrows!! Oh how I long to cry tears of joy when I finally see Christ face to face!! I believe I will enjoy having tears forever in eternity. I believe the greatest tears of sorrow I will have will be seeing the “goats” (unbelievers) that God has sorted out from the “sheep” (believers) going to eternal destruction. And REGRET for not having done more to point to Christ. God will surely wipe away that sorrow. And for now, while I have the opportunity, I must stay faithful to continue to share the gospel/good news and point to Christ. Oh that I could be more faithful in this regard.
So — next time you have a good cry, remember what a gift those tears are. And may it help us all remember (even we dry-eyed Sjogren’s sufferers who don’t have the gift of tears presently) that one day in our eternal reward ALL SORROW AND BADNESS AND SIN will be done away with forever!! May this be our driving hope and joy to help us persevere in walking worthy of Christ and pointing everyone we possibly can to Christ! The hope of eternity and the need to remain faithful with our resources was the main message that my faithful Bible study teacher at Bible Study Fellowship was trying to convey.
By the way, in case you are curious, today’s Bible Study Fellowship lesson was from 1 Kings Chapters 9 and 10 from the life of Solomon (from the study entitled People of the Promised Land, Part One). Solomon was blessed by God with super great prosperity, wisdom and leadership in the world. Solomon didn’t handle that test as well as he should have. In response to this excellent message and call from God to my heart, my hope and my prayer is that God will enable me and all His people to learn to emulate Solomon’s strengths and learn not to repeat his failures. To rejoice that we have a Savior who has forgiven all us fallible, sinful believing humans by grace. And to pray for God’s transforming grace to enable us to be faithful and to do our best to help all the people within our personal spheres of influence by pointing to Christ and not ourselves.
Believers, I highly recommend Bible Study Fellowship and getting involved in the best local Christ centered Bible church you can find. Unbelievers, again, my heart’s cry is for your salvation and to come to know this beautiful Jesus, the only Name given by and through which humans can be saved from God’s righteous wrath to come.
Glory to God.